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Three Victims of Svay Rieng Shooting To Appear in Court

An unidentified garment worker lying on a hospital bed with multiple gunshot wounds to her back. The police identified the mayor of Bavet town, Chhouk Bandit, as the prime suspect.

Three women who were shot during garment factory protests in Svay Rieng province in February have been called to testify in court.

The provincial court has charged Chhouk Bandith, the former governor of the provincial capital, Bavet, in the Feb. 20 shooting, after he allegedly opened fire on a group of factory workers who were demanding better working conditions.

Chhin Lida, an attorney for the three women, called the summons “a good opportunity” that would allow the women to “tell the true story to the court.” The are set to appear Friday.

Chhouk Bandith has not be arrested. He is charged with a minor offense for causing “unintentional injury” of the three women.

Moeun Tola, head of the labor program at the Community Legal Education Center, said the former governor, who was sacked over the incident, should be arrested.

The garment industry is a major economic driver for the country, earning more than $4 billion a year and employing more than 300,000 people. But it is also highly volatile, with labor leaders and workers continually demanding better conditions and higher wages as the cost of living in Cambodia increases.